Tigers bring Cameron Maybin back to Detroit for third time
Lakeland, Fla. — Tigers general manager Al Avila was joking around with reporters Wednesday morning as pitchers and catchers were going through the first official workout of spring.
“Stay tuned,” he said. “Something could be happening.”
“Outfielder?” a reporter said.
“Yep,” Avila answered.
“Is he a former Tiger?”
“I’m not saying.”
“Did he just change agents?”
“I’m not saying anything else (laughing).”
The Tigers are indeed bringing outfielder Cameron Maybin back to Detroit for a third time. They agreed on a one-year, $1.5 million deal Wednesday afternoon.
To make room for Maybin on the 40-man roster, the Tigers placed pitcher Michael Fulmer on the 60-day injured list. Fulmer is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Maybin, who will turn 33 on April 4 and recently hired Gene Mato as his agent, finished last year with the Yankees — his eighth team and 13th big-league season. He was drafted 10th overall by the Tigers in 2005 and made his big-league debut in 2007. The Tigers traded him to Florida in the Miguel Cabrera deal in 2008 and then acquired him back in a trade with Atlanta in November of 2015.
He hit .315 with an OPS-plus of 118 in 94 games in 2016 and was traded to Anaheim for reliever Victor Alcantara.
Avila has made no secret of his desire to add another veteran outfielder to the mix. Maybin, who hit .285 with 11 home runs in 82 games with the Yankees last season, will compete with Victor Reyes and non-roster invitee Jorge Bonifacio for the starting right-field spot, or he could serve as a right-handed platoon option in left with Christin Stewart.
The signing of Maybin most likely concludes Avila's free-agent spending at $19.3 million: First baseman C.J. Cron and second baseman Jonathan Schoop, $6.1 million each; catcher Austin Romine, $4.1 million; and pitcher Ivan Nova and Maybin, $1.5 million each.